By MIKE CHAIKEN
If you’re going to wrestle professionally, you need passion for wrestling.
And Stevie Richards, who is on the bill for “A Hard Day’s Night” at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club on Laurel Street this Saturday, clearly has the passion.
A professional since 1991, Stevie has competed with both WWE and ECW and is now on the roster with Extreme Rising.
In a phone interview, Stevie explained his passion for pro wrestling goes back even further than when he first stepped into the ring.
Stevie explained once he saw professional wrestling as a youth, he said he was “completely hooked.” And when he finally went pro, he realized there’s “nothing like wrestling.”
A resume an arm’s length-long chock full of trophies, titles, and belts, Stevie said wrestling has been good to him through the years. Whether he was doing it part-time, full-time, as a member of the WWE, or with an independent league, Stevie said he’s gotten more out of wrestling than he could ever ask for.
Stevie’s passion for wrestling is evidenced by how he paid his dues in the earlier years of career. He said for the first two to three years as a pro wrestler, he didn’t get paid to step into the ring. He was fighting to earn his keep in the world of pro wrestling. It wasn’t until several years later that he finally started drawing paychecks for his matches.
Stevie’s love for the fans is one of the keys to his passion, he explained. Without the audience, if they don’t care about you and your personility, they won’t watch a match. They have to love you, he said, or they have to hate you.
You could have the best wrestling skills around, said Stevie, but without that memorable persona, he said audiences will walk away. Think of the wrestlers you remember, said Stevie, such as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Jake Roberts. They are remembered not just because of their skills in the ring but “because they connected with us. They brought out emotions in us.”
This is something, said Stevie, that he “strives to do” himself.
When Stevie wrestles at “A Hard Day’s Night” this weekend, he is helping the Bristol Boys and Girls Club and Family Center raise funds. Stevie said he is always up for helping fans.
“It’s always important to help the youth of America and the world,” said Stevie. He said he likes the Boys and Girls Club organization because of its similarities to the Police Athletic League (PAL) he knew grewing up. PAL helped foster his love for weightlifting, pool, and, most importantly, wrestling.
PAL also had a side effect for the young Stevie Richards. “It kept me out of trouble… It was always a great place.”
Stevie said fans should come out to “A Hard Day’s Night” because it’s always great when you have a chance to see wrestlers you know from television. Additionally, he said it will give you a chance to check out wrestlers on the way up. Someday, he said, fans will be able to say they saw this wrestler or that wrestler before they hit it big.
“Come out to the show,” said Stevie.
“A Hard Day’s Night,” with Stevie Richards, presented by Pro Wrestling Academy of Connecticut, will be held Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club, 105 Laurel St., Bristol. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Ring time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
For more information, go to prowrestlingacademyct.com
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com.
By MIKE CHAIKEN